[Download] UPSC Mains-2015: Philosophy Optional Subject Question Paper-1 & Paper-2

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  1. Instructions
  2. Paper-1: SECTION-A
  3. Paper-1: SECTION-B
  4. Paper-2: SECTION-A
  5. Paper-2: SECTION-B

Philosophy Optional Paper Instructions

  1. On 23rd December 2015, UPSC conducted the philosophy optional subject Paper-1 and 2 examinations for UPSC civil services.
  2. Time Allowed: Three Hours Maximum Marks: 250 There are EIGHT questions divided in TWO SECTIONS and printed both in HINDI arid in ENGLISH.
  3. Candidate has to attempt FIVE questions in all.
  4. Questions no. 1 and 5 are compulsory and out of the remitting, any THREE are to be attempted choosing at least ONE from each section.
  5. The number of marks carried by a question part is indicated against it.
  6. Answers must be written in the medium authorized in the Admission Certificate which must be stated clearly WI the Miler of this Question-cum-Answer-QC., Booklet in the space provided. No marks will be given for answers written in a medium other than the authorized one. Word limit in questions, wherever specified, should be adhered to
  7. Attempts of questions shall be counted in sequential order. Unless struck off, attempt of a question shall be counted even if attempted partly. Any page or portion of the page left blank in the Question-cum-Answer Booklet must be clearly struck off

Paper-1: SECTION-A

Q1: Write short answers to the following in about 150 words each : 10×5=50

  1. Aristotle's distinction between 'actually' and 'potentiality'.
  2. esse est percipi
  3. Husserl’s nation of ‘bracketing’
  4. Strawson's distinction between 'M' and 'P' predicates.
  5. G.E. Moore's refutation of idealism.

Q2: 20+15+15 Marks

  1. Explain Kant's division of categories.
  2. Discuss why Heidegger introduces the concept of Dasein in his metaphysics.
  3. Elucidate Quine's arguments to show that analyticity is not synonymity.

Q3: 20+15+15 Marks

  1. Bring out the relationship between language games and forms of life.
  2. Explain Leibnitz's principle of 'identity of indiscernibles'.
  3. What do we understand by incomplete symbols ? What role do they play in Russell theory of meaning ? Discuss.

Q4: 20+15+15 Marks

  1. Explain Plato's theory of forms. Docs it entail a kind of essentialism? Discuss.
  2. Does Dcscarlcs Cogito principle entail that he is an essential ? Discuss.
  3. Bring out the relationship between existence and essence in the case of human being. Explain the issues it gives rise to for human beings according to Sartre.

Paper-1: SECTION-B

Q5: Write short answers to the following in about 150 words each : — 10×5=50

  1. Pancavidhabheda
  2. Jain concept of Dravya
  3. Alayavijinama
  4. Satkaryavada
  5. Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga.

Q6: 20+15++15 Marks

  1. Elaborate Nyaya-Mimamsa debate on Pramayavada.
  2. 'Our knowledge is confined to gunas alone'. Examine this statement in the light of
  3. Vaisesika and Buddhist controversy.
  4. Is anyathakhyativada an adequate explanation of error? Elaborate.

Q7: 20+15+15 Marks

  1. Compare and contrast the notion of Brahman in Sankara and Ramanuja. 20
  2. State and examine the Samkhya proofs for the existence of Purusa .
  3. Explain the arguments of Carvaka to reject transcendental entities. 15

Q8: 20+15+15 Marks

  1. What is bondage according to yoga philosophy ? Explain the method of attaining Kaivalya in Patanjal’s yogasutra.
  2. What do Samvara and Nirjara mean ? Explain their significance in Jaina theory of liberation.
  3. What is the role of Pratityasamutpada in explaining Dukha ? Elucidate the means to overcome it.

Paper-2: SECTION-A

Time Allowed: Three Hours Maximum Marks: 250. Other instructions same as paper-1.
Q1. Answer the following questions in about 150 words each: 10×5-50

  1. "Equality does not mean treating everyone equal” Discuss.
  2. Is civil disobedience in a democratic State justifiable? Discuss.
  3. Explain Harold Laski's critique of sovereignty.
  4. How are individual and group rights reconciled in democracy? Explain. C_
  5. "Inequitable development leads to social conflicts rather than social progress." Explain.

Q2: 15+15+20 Marks

  1. What does gender discrimination mean? Is it not a violation of equality and social justice? Discuss.
  2. Does economic empowerment of women eliminate gender discrimination? Discuss.
  3. Evaluate Ambedkar's critique of caste system.

Q3: 15+15+20 Marks

  1. Is multiculturalism a need of global society? Discuss.
  2. "The aim of punishment is to defend the moral law and to do justice to criminal." Discuss.
  3. Evaluate the nature and functions of parliamentary democracy.

Q4: 15 + 15 + 20 Marks

  1. "Man must grow materially as well as spiritually." Evaluate this statement of Ambedkar.
  2. "Equality will be of no value without fraternity and liberty." Discuss.
  3. How is religious nationalism a threat to secular State? Explain.

Paper-2: SECTION-B

Q5: Answer the following questions in about 150 words each : 10*5=50

  1. Write a critical note on the attributes of God.
  2. Is existence of God a necessary condition for the survival of religion? Explain.
  3. Is morality necessarily based on religion? Discuss.
  4. Is God the cause of natural evil? Explain.
  5. Do faith and reason go together? Discuss.

Q6. 20+15+15 Marks

  1. How can the religious language be verified? Is it correct to say that religious language is verified because it cannot be falsified? Discuss.
  2. Explain the nature of mysticism in Hinduism and Islam.
  3. Can revelation be justified by reason? Discuss.

Q7. 15+15+20 Marks

  1. Do you think that evil is a bitter pill which no theist can easily swallow? Discuss.
  2. "Immortality means absence of Karma and Rebirth Discuss.
  3. Examine the Nyaya arguments in favour of the existence of God.

Q8. 15+15+20 Marks

  1. "An atheist may be a better man than a religious person bereft of moral values." Discuss.
  2. Examine the ontological and cosmological arguments in favour of the existence of God.
  3. What is liberation? Briefly discuss the ways to attain it as outlined in the systems of Vedanta.
Indian History Freedom Struggle Pratik Nayak

21 Comments on “[Download] UPSC Mains-2015: Philosophy Optional Subject Question Paper-1 & Paper-2”

  1. Frnds I am preparing for 2016 my optional is philosophy plz suggest l prepare or not for optional b coz people’s saying optional can be remove

    1. UPSC- Unpredictable Public service commission

      Friend , i wrote my mains this with philosophy as optional. it is the easiest and safest optional. I started preparing for this optional after prelims results and managed to complete it successfully. I did well in philosophy in exam also. if you start preparing philosophy from now on for2016, then you will have tremendous advantage also. Don’t take any thing for granted until UPSC publish anything through notification.

    2. dear lovekesh u do prepare pilosophy..what people r saying doesn`t matter….UPSC ne to nahi kaha na..jb UPSC announce kare tb hi mano k koi bada move liya gaya h…u dnt wrry…u should start…all the best…

  2. Is it necessary to take coaching of philosophy optional…though you r not having any education background in philosophy???

  3. sai……..is coaching of philosophy required?? if yes which wud u suggest for eng medium ? dont have any background of philosophy

  4. only philosophy books will do or any type of coaching(patanjali etc) notes are also needed to score good

  5. Dear lovekesh
    As you mentioned we can prepare for philosophy without coaching so can just give us a details of books, notes and link to do the preparation.
    Thanking you
    Need your help

  6. Hi Sai
    Can u please guide as to how prepare Philosophy on self study basis? Kindly also suggest the books/notes/website to be followed for the same..

  7. Dear atul
    In begining I do Dr sobha nigam book for basics only Def. Then patanjali notes both printed and class. And I able to give answers of whole 2014,2015 paper easily. So I suggest do only that use standered books only when u not able to understand from notes. Revise notes again and again will improve your grip.

  8. Dear Lovekesh,
    I have started preparing for UPSC by enrolling in one the reputated coaching centres in Delhi for GS. I am hearing that philosophy is the safest optional and it can be revised easily. Though I have a well cultivated approach in social sciences as I have read Sociology, Political Science & Economics during my graduation from BHU (Eco Hons), but I am still on a shivering feet when its time for choosing optional. Can philosophy be prepared easily with no background? How much time will it take to complete the course on self prep? Suggested books & notes.
    Looking for your response.
    Thank you in advance.

  9. if anyone here needs notes for prepration of philosophy s/he can contact me on scorpion.prince26@gmail.com. for any other guidance or query drop a mail, I will respond as and when time permits me.

    I got 235 in 2015 exam in philosophy and my overall score was 870.

  10. Good Afternoon all of you,

    I am Natvar Singh, going to appear in UPSC Exam First time,So I am Scared to taking which book should be read?My background of Graduation was Philosophy.but all to know that I have no sufficient knowledge about which writers,s book is best for completing syllabus for Optional in UPSC Exam ?so Please suggest to me regarding Philosophy,s books name.I Hope that you will provide best writers,book name.My mail id- natvarsingh444@gmail.com

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